Well, for my first go-around, I think I did fairly well. Starting off--those first few chapters--I felt like I would be way off. I even considered rewriting my Judgment so as to avoid any shame or embarrassment. But it came around.
First, the main character--the engaged one. There wasn't a love triangle so much, but there was a bad boy. One very inappropriate for a girl of her situation. And it is quite the scandal.
Concerning the cousin? She was actually my favorite character--much more solid than the younger, silly girls. And I was right: there was definitely an old flame unwilling to let go. But it didn't seem so dramatic here; I think it will play more into the next books.
The best friend (a horrid girl who I hated from the get-go) was definitely the cause of all the drama. But she wasn't so quiet--I was wrong there. No, she was just a desperate slut doing desperately stupid things (like getting in with the fiance. Right again).
They all fell apart. And the cousin and the main girl did become comrades by the end. There was a blonde with fierce blue eyes, but everyone falls in love with him--even the reader. One thing I didn't expect: the amount of drama inflicted by other characters, not any of the three girls. And Larkin seems to be taking this more seriously than I thought, with more substantial drama and less cat fights.
Predictability: It is a YA book and story lines tend to be recycled, yet Larkin worked well with the stereotypes, freshening them up with some unexpected daring.
Power: It's been compared to Anna Godbersen's Bright Young Things for good reason. But, I must hand it to Larkin. She seemed well aware of the competition and wrote accordingly, avoiding the scandalous melodrama Godberson so brilliantly spins, instead taking the more serious route. She actually focuses on some very un-pretty parts of the romanticized time and there were some very weighty subjects brought up. It only makes me more interested in seeing where she goes with this the web she's entangled all her character's in.
Proposal: Read it, if you like fast-paced love affairs with a darker side, or seedy joints populated by pretty people.
Now, can I just say, one of my MAJOR problems is actually with the cover itself: I just don't get it. In context, it doesn't work; I couldn't pair the girl with any of the characters. For starters, all the girls had bobs. And were much more scantily clad. So who that girl is, I don't know, and I definitely don't know why she's the cover girl.